Internationalising university schools of nursing in South Africa through a Community of Practice

Authors

  • L.R. Uys rn, rm, d soc sc, fassa,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing
      Dr Leana Uys, School of Nursing, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa; Tel 27-31-260-1421; 27-82-825-1651; Fax 27-31-260-1543; E-mail: uys@ukzn.ac.za.
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  • L. Middleton rn, rm, phd

    1. Dean's Assistant for Post-graduate Administration, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Dr Leana Uys, School of Nursing, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa; Tel 27-31-260-1421; 27-82-825-1651; Fax 27-31-260-1543; E-mail: uys@ukzn.ac.za.

Abstract

UYS L. R. & MIDDLETON L. (2011) Internationalising university schools of nursing in South Africa through a Community of Practice. International Nursing Review58, 115–122

Introduction:  International nursing experiences in higher education have traditionally enabled and continue to enable nurses to appreciate ‘. . . the richness of the nursing mosaic . . . and the realities of nursing in many different cultural contexts’. This article describes a case study of the Collaboration for Higher Education of Nurses and Midwives in Africa in terms of its success in internationalising the nursing schools involved.

Background:  Different types of international contact have led to a limited pattern of internationalization in the universities of Southern Africa, which often places African academics in a secondary or dependant position. Opportunities for truly equal international partnerships have been limited.

Methods:  A qualitative analysis of the views of participants from the consortium of universities was carried out based on the conceptual framework of communities of practice.

Findings:  An effective community of practice had been established, focused on the major knowledge domain of nursing and midwifery in Africa, and sharing the perception that their work was empowering and collaborative. The community had established its own ways of working, and articulated major institutional and individual benefits.

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